Obesity – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Obesity is overweight which can be determined by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI). Obesity is a preventable disease and cause of death in America. In recent years, the number of people who are overweight in industrialized countries has increased significantly; so much so that the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned that obesity is an epidemic.

In the United States, 69 percent of the adult population is overweight or obese. In Canada, self-reported data shows that 40 percent of men and 27 percent of women are overweight, and 20 percent of men and 17 percent of women are obese. Whereas in Indonesia alone, as many as 40 million adults are overweight, and Indonesia ranks 10th in the list of countries with the most obesity rates in the world.

People who are obese are at a higher risk for serious diseases such as hypertension , heart attack , stroke, diabetes , gallbladder disease, and cancer. The risk in people who have obesias is higher than those of people who have a healthy and normal weight.

Obesity is determined by calculating BMI, but not directly able to measure fat levels in the body. The method of calculating BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. A healthy BMI is in the range of 18.5 – 24.9 kg / m2. The BMI at 25â € “29.9 is referred to as â € œoverweightâ €, 30â €“ 34.9 is called â € œ obesity class I â €, 35.0â € ”39.9 is called â € œobility class II â €, and above 40 are called â € œ obesity class IIIâ €.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity occurs when the body consumes more calories than burning calories. In the past, many people thought that obesity was only caused by overeating and lack of exercise, due to lack of willingness and self-control. Although this also contributes to causing obesity, experts recognize that obesity is a complex medical problem and involves genetic (hereditary), environmental, behavioral and social factors. All of these factors play a role in determining a person’s weight.

Recent research has shown that in some cases certain genetic (hereditary) factors can cause changes in appetite and fat metabolism that triggers obesity. For people who are genetically susceptible to gaining weight (for example, having a lower metabolism) the risk of becoming high in obesity.

Even though a person’s genetics can cause obesity, that is not the main cause. Environmental and behavioral factors have a greater influence – consuming calories from high-fat foods and doing little physical activity or not every day exercising in the long term will cause weight gain. Psychological factors can also cause obesity. Feelings of inferiority, guilt, emotional stress, or trauma can cause overeating as a means to overcome problems.

Symptoms of Obesity

Health risks associated with obesity and the characteristics of obesity include:

  • Respiratory disorders, such as sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, intestines in men, breast cancer and uterine cancer in women
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or bile gland disease
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diseases of the joints (eg osteoarthritis) due to the body’s support for carrying excessive weight
  • Stroke

People who are obese may have symptoms of the medical conditions mentioned above. High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, respiratory problems, and joint pain (in the knee or lower back) often occur. The more fat a person is, the more likely they are to have medical problems associated with obesity. In addition, obese people tend to be lazy to move because of the weight of the body so that obese people tend to be easily drowsy because of their slow metabolism.

Doctors will also use other measurements such as waist size to evaluate health risks associated with abdominal fat. When BMI and waist size indicate a health problem, there will be additional examinations suggested by the doctor such as an EKG, blood check to find out the condition of cholesterol, gout, and so on.

How to Overcome Obesity

Obesity can be overcome in the following ways:

  • Changing lifestyles: multiply exercise, changing your diet that might have been a lot of fatty foods (like fried foods, offal) now reproduced with fruits
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself until you don’t want to eat, this is not the right method. Keep eating, but change the menu to a healthy menu.
  • Diet medications prescribed by a doctor. Do not try to take diet medicine without a doctor’s prescription, because it is feared that it will injure the stomach and intestines, and it will cause chaotic metabolism.

How to treat obesity

If you are obese and cannot lose your own weight, medical assistance is available. Start contacting a doctor, they may be able to refer you to a weight specialist. Your doctor may also want to work with you as a team to help you lose weight, along with dietitians, therapists, and other health staff.

Your doctor will direct you to change your lifestyle. Sometimes, they also recommend medications or weight loss surgeries.

Changes in lifestyle and behavior

The health care team advises you about better food choices and helps develop healthy eating plans that are right for you. Structured exercise programs and increased daily activities – up to 300 minutes a week – will help build your strength, endurance and metabolism. Counseling or support groups can also identify unhealthy triggers and help you deal with anxiety, depression, or emotional eating problems.

Medical weight loss

Your doctor may also prescribe weight loss medications that are prescribed in addition to healthy eating and exercise plans. Medications are usually prescribed only if other weight loss methods are unsuccessful, and if you have a BMI of 27 or more other than obesity related health problems.

Prescription weight loss medications either prevent fat absorption or suppress appetite. These drugs can have unpleasant side effects. For example, the orlistat ( Xenical ) drug can cause frequent and oily bowel movements, bowel urgency, and gas. The doctor will monitor carefully when you take these drugs.

Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, commonly called bariatric surgery, requires a commitment from the patient that they will change their lifestyle. This type of surgery works by limiting how much food you can eat comfortably or by preventing your body from absorbing food and calories. Sometimes they do both.

Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix. This is a major operation and can have serious risks. After surgery, patients need to change the way they eat and how much they eat or risk getting sick.

Candidates for weight loss surgery will have a BMI of 40 or more, or have a BMI of 35 to 39.9 along with serious obesity-related health problems.

Patients usually have to lose weight before undergoing surgery. In addition, they will usually undergo counseling to ensure that they are both emotionally prepared for this operation and are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

Meanwhile, surgical options include:

  • Gastric surgery, which creates a small pouch in the upper part of the abdomen that connects directly to the small intestine. Food and fluid pass through the sac and enter the intestine, passing most of the stomach
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), which separates your stomach into two bags using a ribbon
  • Stomach arm, which removes the stomach
  • Biliopancreatic transfer with the duodenal switch, which removes most of the stomach.